All posts filed under: Pasta

Turkey Sausage Lasagna

I can’t think of anything more comforting or more universally-loved than lasagna.  Most families have their versions they go back to time and time again.  There’s the traditional Italian version which is made with bolognese sauce, bechmael sauce, parmesan (no ricotta or mozzarella) and the American version made with ground beef (or leftover meatballs), marinara, ricotta, and mozzarella.  There are countless veggie versions and even kinds made with tortillas.  This time around I decided to go all-American, but with one substitute a la the Barefoot Contessa, turkey sausage.  Here you have it–her fabulous version of American lasagna.  I slightly adapted her recipe in 2 ways.  1) I omitted goat cheese–only because I don’t care for it.  2) I substituted no-boil lasagna noodles to cut back on time. First you cook the onions and garlic, add the ground turkey sausage, and all of the basic red sauce ingredients. Then the fun part… the layering.  A quick stir of ricotta, grated parmesan, egg, fresh parsley, salt, and pepper–and that forms the creamy layer comb.  I constructed each …

Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Pancetta, Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and Beurre Monte, Part Three: Sauce and Serving

Ahh… the finish line.  The first bite.  Experiencing the combination of textures and tastes: smooth & crunchy; sweet & salty.  Everything in one bite.  Total bliss.  Total joy in knowing that it all turned out–rejoice in your accomplishment!  Now, the final step in making butternut squash agnolotti. After making the fresh pasta, the filling, and composing the finished agnolotti, it’s time to bring it all together by making the sauce and plating.  This part probably takes only 20 minutes–so make sure you save this to just before serving.  Fill a pot with well salted water; cover and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, start dicing the pancetta, thinly slicing scallions or chives, and chopping garlic into big chunks. Add the pancetta and garlic chunks to a COLD large pan.  Place over medium-low heat.  Once the pancetta and garlic are browned, discard the garlic.  Add the pancetta and pancetta fat to a ramekin and set aside.  Lower the pan heat to low. When the water comes to a boil, drop the fresh (or frozen) agnolotti into the …

Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Pancetta, Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and Beurre Monte, Part Two: Filling & Stuffing

This post serves as part two of three posts on how to make Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Pancetta, Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and Beurre Monte.  To make the filling for the agnolotti, start by baking one butternut squash.  If you find one already cubed, awesome–that will work just fine.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and white pepper.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar.  Bake until the squash is tender and you can easily pierce with a fork.  Cool at room temperature. Once cooled, add the butternut squash flesh (no skin!) to a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and maple syrup (the real stuff, please.)  The result with be super smooth and creamy with a bright orange color. To fill the agnolotti, fill a pastry bag with the butternut squash/cheese mixture.  Or you can fill a large (gallon-size) Ziploc bag.  Roll down the sides to ease the process.  Twist the bag above the filling to fill the bottom of the bag–snip off the corner of …

Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Pancetta, Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and Beurre Monte, Part One: Fresh Pasta Dough

This post serves as part one of three posts on how to make Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Pancetta, Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and Beurre Monte.  I am a pasta junkie, especially fresh pasta.  Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, I always ask the waitress which pastas are fresh on the menu.  Maybe it’s a pappardelle bolognese that will get my eye… or black pepper fettucini with truffles… or even a luxurious spaghetti carbonara.  What’s even more special to me is filled fresh pastas–pastas filled with rich meats or seasonal produce and almost always with cheese.  Yum yum yum.  This dish incorporates all of that and more: gorgeous butternut squash from the farmer’s market, salty and rich pancetta and parmesan, creamy ricotta, sweet and crunchy breadcrumbs, and ribbon-like silky butter sauce. Despite what cooking shows may try to make you believe, making fresh pasta does take time.  I’ve probably made it a dozen times, and while I’ve gotten faster (and less messy), it’s still a multi-hour process–and thus requires multiple posts from me to teach you …

Greek orzo salad with sun-dried tomato and feta

When it’s hot outside, and you’re grilling, side dishes need to be kept simple.  Usually a few ears of corn, cole slaw, and a bag of chips are the perfect companions to burgers, hot dogs, and any grilled chicken or meat.  I like to make pasta salads too–“kitchen sink” type of pasta salads.  Any bite-size pasta shape works (corkscrew, bow-tie, penne, whatever) plus the entire contents of my vegetable drawer (broccoli, grape tomatoes, red onion, etc.) and some Newman’s Own light Italian dressing.  Mixed together and chilled–super simple and always a crowd pleaser. I was watching an episode of “Barefoot Contessa” on the Food Network, and watched Ina Garten as she made a tomato feta pasta salad.  Her dressing looked awesome (and it was a far cry from bottled dressing), so I decided to take that cue from her and improvise the rest with my fridge’s current “kitchen sink” of offerings. First, I began by boiling half a box of orzo, rinsing for several minutes under cold water, then spraying with Pam to prevent from …